Roots, Shoots and Fruits!

Curriculum Newsletter - Friday 19th February 2016

Grade 5 - Unit 5

Over the next five weeks we will be following a new short unit of work which focuses on the importance of green plants and how they reproduce and grow.

What we will be learning

In Science, we’ll be finding out:

  • How to sort and group plants
  • What the parts of a plant are
  • The function of roots
  • What plants need in order to grow
  • How flowers attract insects
  • How plants reproduce
  • How seeds are spread

In international, we will be finding out:

  • What plants grow in the local area

In Geography, we’ll be finding out:

  • About the tallest plants in the world

Our Key Learning Goals for this unit:


Be able to explain and justify their predictions, investigations, findings and conclusions

Be able to choose an appropriate way to investigate a scientific issue.


Be able to identify ways in which people work together for mutual benefit.

Personal Goal:

Respect: Be able to show respect for the needs of other people, other living things and the environment

This goal has been chosen as the children will be working in groups for the majority of this topic. They will be in carrying out scientific investigations and relying upon each other to help care for their plants. They will also need to respect the needs of their plant to help nurture it successfully.


Our study of this unit will help develop the children's global understanding and internationalism by highlighting how plants as well as animals have to adapt to different conditions. It will bring a deeper understanding of the environment we have here in our host country of Singapore.

Across the Curriculum....

In Language Arts we will be studying Literary Non-Fiction.

This is an interesting unit of work which links fiction and non-fiction. We will study a variety of texts within this genre in order to immerse ourselves in the style of writing. We will study the use of figurative and descriptive language and how this helps to capture the readers imagination and attention. This style of writing cleverly combines factual information with a beautifully crafted story.

The children will write their own books as part of this unit which will be shared with our buddy classes in the younger grades. As always, we will continually edit and revise our work with a particular focus on our personal writing targets.

In reading, we will continue to study a variety of texts in detail. We will focus on developing our ability to infer meaning from the texts. We will also use our reading to improve our range of vocabulary and sentence construction.


The students will be working on Decimals as they learn to multiply and divide decimals by tens, hundreds and thousands. As they continue to consolidate their skills and understanding on the four operations on Decimals, they will apply these skills in problem solving. We will also be celebrating Maths Week in Week 8 and students have the opportunities to engage in many fun and exciting game. A morning will be dedicated for UES students to participate in several activities on Time and Numeracy with the various UES teachers. The Maths learning is going to be very exciting and purposeful over the next 4 weeks.

In Chinese, we will be working on Lesson 6 Hobbies

We will:

  • Learn to describe one’s hobbies and ask others about their hobbies

  • Learn to describe leisure activities related to the seasons

  • Learn about different accessories and the respective quantifiers


In Grade 5 students will be taking part a Net Games Unit and a Gymnastics Unit between now and Easter. They will also be continuing their Grade 5 Swimming programme which will take place either before or after CNY.

In swimming activities students will:

· develop power and endurance in arm and leg action in the full range of swimming strokes and be able to identify strengths and weaknesses in own and others’ performance

· Use effective breathing technique and body position to aid speed and efficiency in the water

· be able to show a range of starts and finishes with improved efficiency, including racing starts and tumble turns

· Enter the water using a range of appropriate methods

· Develop knowledge of and be able to articulate water safety and survival techniques

Respond to survival emergencies appropriately

In Net Games children will:

participate in a range of tennis movement games to develop footwork and agility

develop forehand and backhand skills, showing low to high swing

understand and be able to demonstrate slice and topspin in groundstrokes

Refine ability to volley and serve with improved accuracy and power

Understand scoring and be able to umpire short sets

In Gymnastics children will:

perform a wide range of gym skills with control, coordination, precision and consistency, including rotations, jumps and turns

· plan their own gym performance using canon, unison, symmetry and asymmetry

work in pairs and small groups using balance and counter-balance to create sequences

Showing controlled landing from height

· identify the features of a good performance and be able to give feedback on others’ performances


We will be continuing with our exploration on a range of technology.

Students will become more knowledgeable about:

  • Using sound and technology to express mood and emotion

  • Telling stories using traditional 2D animation

  • How to go about making a fun, challenging & educational 3D game

  • Designing and creating their own 3D printed object

  • What a Raspberry Pi is, and what can it be used for


  • The process and techniques of developing an Android application

  • How music can be used to enhance and manipulate mood and emotions

  • The art, science and maths of 3D movie making

To help us with the units, we will develop technical skills of:

  • Learning how to compose, arrange and produce music & soundscapes using Sony’s ACID Xpress software

  • Creativity and dexterity, while using a mouse to accurately be able to produce a watchable short 2D animation using Animationish

  • Digital storytelling within a game world using Atmosphir

  • Working with industry software, while learning what goes into making a successful 3D print

  • Electronics, simple programming and basic computer know-how while working with one of the world's smallest computers


  • Problem solving while developing helpful, fun and useful apps working with MIT’s Android App inventor

  • Spotting a film, choosing appropriate music, and then demonstrating critical listening skills as we premiere the finished movie, produced by the whole class

  • Visualisation and patience, while developing new, professional technical skills and knowledge, using the leading movie and game creating software, Unity

How you can help........

A large part of our learning will be developing our scientific skills of observations and measuring. Why not try growing your own plants at home such as herbs or microveg? This will also help them understand the virtues of responsibility and gentleness.

As you enjoy healthy snacks such as fruit and veg together, observe the structure of them and discuss where and how the seeds are stored.

As we will also be looking at how plants adapt to their conditions, discuss with your child the trees and flowers which are native to your home country. How do they differ?

If anyone has any expertise in this field and would be willing to speak to the children please contact Miss Douglas.

Want to learn more about plants?

This website uses the humble potato to teach plant biology and healthy eating.

Miss Claire Douglas

Head of Grade, Teacher of 5CDo and Maths Group 1

Paul McGrath

Teacher of 5PMc and Maths Group 2

Scott Gericke

Teach of 5SGe and Maths Group 3

Sally Baines

Teacher of 5SBa and Maths Group 4